We reviewed Travelamo this week. We have found that companies are often the most egregious users of fake reviews during a new product launch. We reviewed the Travelambo Leather Business Card Holder Case for Men or Women Name Card Case Holder Magnetic Shut (Napa Red Wine) on Amazon.
Every single review we researched (7/7 below) was fake. The company has created what appears to be a legitimate US operation that was designed to serve the Amazon marketplace. We did several random samplings of two top rated products and over 66% of the 5-star reviews were fake. The company website has only two products and both are offered in British Pound Sterling, with no address or contact information. Ebay only has a third party selling their products. Facebook has no address and Walmart removed them. Good for Walmart!
The trademark registration showed the owner is Wu Yi. Outside of the owner and a relationship to a firm using the same fake review farm (Chelmon), there is very little information.
However, since they had a website, we could track the owner of the website to the Alibaba Cloud Computer in China. Alibaba’s market size in China is often compared to Amazon in the US, thus if Travelambo wanted a robust presence in the US, especially on the internet, they could easily achieve this by having an ownership and/or partnership with Alibaba. Yet they’ve chosen to hide. We believe Travelambo is a fake company set up specifically do to business online– such as on Amazon. This requires only a minimal investment and they have almost nothing to loose, if and when they get caught.
We identified Travelambo in our April 2019 article– Amazon Rewards Fake Reviews – The Ebanel Case— as a company that used fake review farms to become an Amazon “Best Seller.” We shared our findings with Amazon in April. So Amazon knows Travelambo is benefiting from the fake reviews. What do you think happened after Amazon learned Travelambo was cheating using public fake reviews?
Take a guess what Amazon did?
A. Amazon pulled all the fake reviews.
B. Amazon pulled the Best Selling Badge.
C. Amazon kicked Travelambo off the Marketplace platform like Walmart did.
D. Amazon rewarded them with five Best Selling Badges and one Amazon’s Choice Badge.
If you selected D you were right.
Travelambo now has five products that are rated “Best Seller” by Amazon and one labeled “Amazon’s Choice.” It appears to us that a Chinese company is cheating massively, and it is being continuously rewarded by Amazon, even though Amazon knows this company works with a massive fake review farm.
While this is happening, their is probably a small American family business that competes with them, possibly even with a better product, and if they’re honest they will only have a fraction of the success. When the heavyweight in the category gains a great unfair and unethical advantage by cheating, like Travellambo in the wallet business, it appears either you have to cheat too (meaning the competitors), or you get beat. According to a Pew study 82% of buyers read reviews before purchasing.
Not only are companies like Travelambo cheating with fake reviews, companies are buying fake reviews by the thousands at about $5 per posted review. This has been going on so long that the numbers of fake reviews are now often in the thousands, so an honest provider (even with a superior product and better prices) might only generate under a hundred reviews with a lower “honest” rating.
So with the vast majority of buyers judging companies by their 5-star rankings, the serial cheaters are winning around 80% of the time, turning a small investment into a high level of profit. Companies have invested about $5,000 in consumer review fraud and receive about a thousand 5-Star reviews for that investment. They almost overnight (amazingly) become a category heavyweight, plus they could earn the bonuses of receiving Amazon’s Best Seller and Amazon’s Choice Badges– giving them an incredible return of millions (even several millions) of dollars in additional revenues.
Those with poor morals and/or a devotion to another county are going to do this. It’s not even a question. They’ve been doing it for several years with Amazon’s help. Why would the cheaters want to stop this gravy train of incurable success? Amazon may be hesitant to act because they know the problem is much bigger than most people realize, and the truth will be very ugly when it starts gushing out.
If Amazon did a real review of cheating in the wallet market, as almost every company has thousands of 5-Star reviewed products in the market place, possible;y only a small fraction of the companies would survive.
This shows you how well Amazon is policing their own fake reviews. They have repeatedly claimed that “one fake review is too many.” Why are they telling the press one thing and doing almost nothing about fraud, or worse rewarding serial fraudsters, even after it is brought to their attention? We are once again asking Amazon to remove all companies and products that serially use fake reviews.
Update On the Technology of Fake Reviews
We often cite Ebanel for review fraud. We believe Ebanel is not only the most egregious fake review offender, but they appear to be the technology leader in creating, manipulating, and posting fake reviews. They sure seem to spend more money on fake reviews than anyone else, while being a master of stealth.
Ebanel is now scrubbing their own reviews from their history file, so the reviews will only show up on their own Ebanel company product. This means when you see a person making seven reviews but only five show up in their history (and two are missing), this is a very strong sign you are seeing a manipulative review. It appears so far that only fake review firms know how to do this little trick.
For example take Brandi Arens and her Amazing 5-Star review (just above) on Ebanel Numb 520. A July 16 review has been scrubbed off her history review file. How come a
great Amazing review is not showing up in her history? Because Ebanel (or their fake review farm) has learned how to scrub or remove individual reviews from the reviewer history– leaving little trace or as small a footprint as possible to conceal their serial consumer fraud.
This amazing review will only show up on an Ebanel post (and no other products) even if Brandi does 5,000 reviews.
We reviewed the five most recent reviews, that were all 5-Stars, from their top selling Ebanel Numb 520 this week. All five (100%), including Brandi Arens, were missing or had scrubbed Ebanel from their product review history. Ebanel and fake review farms are proving adept at rapidly adopting technology advancements, so they can hide the truth from the consumer. Amazon is allowing them to keep their valuable fake review scheme and it’s leading to many riches that they do not deserve.
Ebanel was rewarded the Best Seller Badge. It was rated Amazon’s “#1 Best Selling in Pain Relief Homeopathic Remedies.” Ebanel was able to leverage fake reviews with Numb 520 reaching an astonishing 2,000+ reviews in a short time with an amazing number of 5-star reviews. They’ve become a gorilla in the numbing and homeopathic care sector, leaving all other competitors with honest reviews (and most with superior products) almost no chance to compete.
Since we believe that there are only a few companies left that are not cheating, it’s a shame that the honest companies are either forced to cheat, or accept getting beat by the cheaters. It appears Amazon is afraid that if they irradiated the serial cheaters they would probably eliminate entire categories of competitors. That would be wonderful for consumers and honest hard working companies, and in the long term even better for Amazon.
So Amazon skirts the issue and looks the other way while Ebanel, Travelambo and so many others invent more ways to fool the public. This is very wrong.
Data Supporting Travelambo Review Fraud
Below you’ll see they were able to hide two reviews, so their fake reviews are harder to cross reference with other unethical deeds. These are 100% fake reviews. How could the same seven people buy the same brands so many times? It is mathematically impossible for this not to be part of a fake review farm.
Joshua & Ally Homder Pen, NapaWailli Wallet, Casmonal Wallet, 6 times they bought La Milano Mens Shoes, 2 separate times they bought Chelmon Coin Purse, 2, Homder products, 2 Faranzi Sandals, Lumina Charger
TwinMom Casmonal Wallet, Zamat Mattress Protector, Homeideas Bed Sheets, Lumina Portable Charger, Homder product.
Miss Linda Fern & Willow, Homder, Casmonal,
Denyse Barnes 4 Homder, 2 Travelambo, 2 Casmonal products
Kindle Customer 4 Homder, Travelambo, La Milamo, Casmonal, Faranzi
Brian Brister 2 Fern & Williams, 3 Homber, NapaWallet, 3 Travelambo
AGY 2 Fern & Willow, 2 Casmonal, 6 Homder, Travelambo, 5 Famillambs, 2 Zamat, LiMilano Shoes, Lumina
If you know about any Amazon fake review issues, please send it to: CommunalNews1@gmail.com